Another allusion in act 2 comes when Francis Nurse arrives at the Proctor house. He proceeds to tell everyone that his wife Rebecca has just been arrested for witchcraft. And like all the other allegations that have been made since the witch-hunt got underway, it's completely false.
As one might expect, the Proctors are pretty shocked to hear such terrible news. But Reverend Hale, at this stage in the play, still believes in the judicial system. His response to Rebecca's arrest is therefore completely different to that of the Proctors. Alluding to a biblical story, he says that "until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven."
This is an allusion to the fall of Lucifer from Heaven. Right up until the moment he was cast down by God, he had the appearance of a beautiful angel. In making this allusion Hale is drawing a comparison between Lucifer and Rebecca Nurse. Although Rebecca may seem like a good woman who'd never engage in witchcraft in a million years,...
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